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Manaus city guide

City meets forest in the “Paris of the Tropics”

Located on the Rio Negro in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, Manaus is the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas and one of the country’s best kept secrets. First founded in 1669, the city blossomed during the rubber boom of the late 1800s, when the industry made Manaus one of the world’s richest cities and earned it the nickname “Paris of the Tropics.” The Manaus of today hardly resembles the French capital—it has a character all its own. From the opulent Teatro Amazonas opera house to the breathtaking Meeting of the Waters, where the Solimões and Negro rivers merge to form the Amazon River, Manaus resonates with natural and manmade beauty. Museums display the city’s rich histories, while lively restaurants and bars around town reimagine international fare with local ingredients. Here are just some of the city’s highlights.


Ponta Negra

Located to the west of Manaus on the edge of the Rio Negro, Ponta Negra is home to Ponta Negra Beach, which locals say offers the most beautiful sunset in all of Brazil. No beach gear? No problem. Stalls lining the beach offer chair and table rentals, as well as coconut water and other refreshments. Ponta Negra Beach is one of the city’s most popular destinations for tourists and locals. 

Centro da Cidade

As the historic center of Manaus, Centro da Cidade features markets with local and regional produce, including fresh fruit and fish. Here you’ll also find the Teatro Amazonas, an opulent, pink opera house built during the height of the rubber boom and featured in Werner Herzog’s “Fitzcarraldo.” Browse the Sunday street market on Avenida Eduardo Ribeiro and relax in Largo São Sebastião, a tree-lined square decorated in neoclassical style.

Photo by: Lucy Hewett


Vieiralves is a vibrant district featuring trendy shops and restaurants in the heart of the city. This is where locals often gather. The district’s central location and numerous bars have made it an ideal meeting place for residents and visitors looking for evening eats or a night out on the town.

Restaurante Banzeiro

(92) 3234-1621, R. Libertador, 102 - Nossa Sra. das Gracas, Manaus - AM, 69057-070, Brazil

Helmed by chef Felipe Schaedler, considered to be one of Manaus’ best, Banzeiro serves an eclectic array of Brazilian dishes, including Amazonian micro-shrimp, tucupi rice, and smoked pirarucu, an ancient Amazonian fish that can grow up to ten feet and nearly 500 pounds. Banzerio boasts no-frills decoration. An old canoe hanging from the wall rounds out the understated decor.

Caxiri Manaus

(92) 3304-8700, Rua 10 de Julho, 495 - Centro, Manaus - AM, 69010-000, Brazil

Nestled in the shadow of the Teatro Amazonas opera house, Caxiri has made a name for itself as the new restaurant on the block, with creative takes on regional dishes. Large windows offer expansive streets views, while exposed brick walls, hanging plants, and chandeliers imbue the inside with an intimate and cozy atmosphere. For dinner, try the traditional Banda de Tambaqui, a generous serving of local fish. For dessert, order the Surpresa do Tucupi (tucupi surprise).

Café com Leite

(92) 98430-6307, R. Rio Jamary, 23 - Nossa Sra. das Gracas, Manaus - AM, 69053-560, Brazil

Serving up enviable views of the Rio Negro, as well as tasty regional breakfast and snacks, Café com Leite is a must stop day-time café. The outdoor grass patio seems to hover over the river. Café com Leite’s speciality is the X-caboquinho, a popular sandwich made fried plantains, cheese, and an Amazonian fruit called tucumã between French bread. Bet you can’t eat just one. 

Tacacaria Parintins

(92) 99482-6512, Av. Dom Pedro I, 589 - loja 10 - Dom Pedro, Manaus - AM, 69040-670, Brazil

Located near the lush Mindu Municipal Park, Tacacaria Parintins specializes in a regional soup called tacacá, which is made a variety of ingredients typically only found in the Amazon, such as jambu and tucupi. Dried shrimp and peppers are often added to the tacacá. If you want a taste of Amazonas, Tacacaria Parintins has got you covered.

Umê Bar & Food

(92) 98259-1818, Av. Jorn. Umberto Calderaro Filho, 455 - Loja 4 - Adrianópolis, Manaus - AM, 69057-015, Brazil

Part restaurant, part bar, full flavor. Umê specializes in small plates and creative cocktails that fuse regional ingredients with international cuisine in an Asian-themed setting. Umê’s succulent sushi and sashimi dishes are fresh and delicious options. For a cocktail, try the bar’s smokey signature “Samurai de Parintins Tiki,” named after the municipality where the Boi-Bumbá folklore festival takes place each June.

Bar do Armando

(92) 3232-1195, Rua 10 de Julho, 593 - Centro, Manaus - AM, 69010-060, Brazil

Situated within sight of the Teatro Amazonas opera house in Manaus’s historic central district, Bar do Armando is a traditional venue where locals and visitors rub elbows. On busy nights, throngs of red plastic chairs line the sidewalk and spill out into the street. Bar do Armando’s cold beer and simple snacks, such as shrimp and ham sandwiches, keep the regulars returning. 

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Museu do Seringal Vila Paraíso

(92) 3631-6047, São João Afluente do Tarumã Mirim S/n Zona Rural, Igarapé

Manaus is a city built by rubber. During the late 1800s, the rubber trade centered in Manaus made it the richest city in South America and earned it the nickname “Paris of the Tropics.” Housed in the old home of a rubber tapper just up the Rio Negro, the Seringal Museum tells the story of the rubber age and portrays the life of workers and barons who helped shape the city.

Museu Histórico da Cidade de Manaus

(92) 3622-4991, R. Gabriel Salgado - Centro, Manaus

Explore the history of the Amazonas capital through state-of-the-art displays in Manaus City Historical Museum which are designed to transport visitors back in time. Housed in a neoclassical government palace more than 120 years old, the Museu Histórico preserves the memory of Manaus, with artifacts that help trace daily life from before the city’s founding to the present day.